Chicago Indymedia : http://chicago.indymedia.org/archive
Chicago Indymedia

News :: [none]

Cornel West at Campus Greens Super Rally

I taped the Campus Greens Super Rally and I want to distribute as much information as possible from the rally that I can using independent sources. Here is Cornel West's speech that I am planning to release to students at ISU who have heard Cornel West speak here last spring, but did not hear Cornel West say he supports the Green Party.
Cornel West offers hope for the Campus Greens





From August 9-12 in Chicago, the Campus Greens held their


founding convention to promote social change through individuals in universities, colleges, and high schools around the country. The Campus Greens is a national non-profit organization organized almost completely by students. During the founding convention, the high mark was the Campus Greens Super Rally on August 10. Speakers and performers at the rally included Ralph Nader, Winona LaDuke, Jello Biafra, Cornel West, Patti Smith, and Ani DiFranco.





Of the guest speakers at the Campus Greens Super Rally,


Cornel West offers significant hope that the Green Party can reach out through student activism of people of all colors. Cornel West has shown support for the Green Party last November, and in Washington DC he appeared at a Green Party Super Rally two days before the election. Unfortunately, it seems that Cornel West's support for the Green Party has not been frequently mentioned by the mainstream media, who would rather report nothing at all.





Here is Cornel West's speech at the Campus Greens Super


Rally, supporting a political party that will be reaching out to students of all ages and backgrounds for social change and social justice.





Cornel West:





Green Party, Green Party! We're here to inaugurate a new day, not just in America but in the world. If you could see what I see, I see the raw stuff of a new social movement. Look in your eyes and look in your hearts and look in your souls and say, we're tired of all the mendacity and hypocrisy of the nation. We are going to dig deep into our subversive memories and remember the Harriet Tubmans and John Browns. We are going to remember all those precious fore-mothers and fore-fathers who were viewed as naive idealists and sentimental utopians and yet who made the world a better place. Don't let anybody tell you that public life and politics is just about some Machiavellian


maneuver or some Hobbesian strategy.





The public life is about following your vision and your conscious and trying to connect it with other persons who are fundamentally committed to making it more free and make it more democratic, especially for all young brothers and sisters of all colors. All colors.





The best of the legacy of Athens, and its Socratic mode, that says we want to unsettle and unnerve and unhouse every dogma and every doctrine, be it the dogma of white supremacy, male supremacy homophobia, ecological abuse, the dogma of corporate power that remains uninterrogated and unquestioned in America. That's a Socratic legacy. The best of the hip-hop generation understands that, oh yes they do, yes they do. They say we want to snatch the mere trenches glitz of the culture and get beneath, into the darkness to the funk where people live where they have to struggle and wrestle.





One of the fascinating things about Socrates, as most of you already know or will discover soon as you wrestle with the Plato's dialogues at some moment in your lives, is that Socrates believed that the condition of truth is to allow more critical intelligence to be manifested. We need more critical intelligence, but Socrates never cries in any of the dialogs. And this is a serious, serious issue. Because you can have the most sophisticated analysis in the world, you can have the most nuanced worldview. But if you don't cry, you never really lived because you never really loved, and if you've never loved, you've never been part of a social movement. We're not looking for abstract academic formulation; we're trying to connect theory and practice, and on the ground there is too much suffering.





That's why in my own very parochial way, I still take seriously the legacy of Jerusalem. When I hear the Jewish brother Amos say, "let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream," I know there are tears in his eyes. When I see Mohammed bringing together all classes and races, I know there were some tears in his eyes. Tears in his eyes. Of course, those two words in the New Testament that mean so much: "Jesus wept, because he loved so."





The challenge is, how do we bring that critical intelligence with our analysis as sophisticated as it ought to be. With the fundamental claim that the condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak, and that the foundations of all ethics is to be in solidarity with those who suffer. Not to idealize it, not to romanticize it, but to say if we don't do something, then the rocks are going to cry out because there is still too much social misery


and suffering in the world and we plan to do something about it. So in 1999 we go to Seattle, in 2000 we go to DC, Prague, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Genoa, we've got to do something about it.





You can call us names, you can rebuke us, you can scorn us,


and you can demonize us, but you are not our points of


reference. We've got our eyes on the prize, to make the world a better place, more democratic, more free, more open and fundamentally more respectful of one another as sentient beings. That's what we're about. I know its getting late and you've been very kind. I want to end not so much on a high note, but on a blue note. I'm a blues man. I don't know about y'all, but I'm a blues man. I'm a blues man.





Any time you have a new wave of social activism, it always looks like David against Goliath. They tell you, you must be misguided and immature and you grow up soon and learn how to accommodate to the status quo, rather than to be maladjusted to the evil of the status quo. But the blue note says we are not sentimental about nothing, there is no emotion unearned, there is no struggle without sacrifice and there is no rebirth without death. That's the blue. You live in a culture of denial of the darkness, but the blue says that I've been down so long that down don't worry me no more, I'm going to keep pushing anyway. The great Curtis Mayfield who comes out of Chicago said, "keep on pushing, keep on pushing, keep on pushing."





And in the end we say to one another, as imperfect as we are, we will never cave in, we will never give up. We will pass the baton to the next generation trying to connect the best of those who came before and the best that come after and in the interim, we will go down swinging like Sarah Vaughn and Duke Ellington.





For more information about the Campus Greens, check out


www.campusgreens.org
 
 

Donate

Views

Account Login

Media Centers

 

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software